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High School Research Guide: Research Databases

Using and transitioning to the University of Kentucky Libraries from your high school libraries

Popular High School Databases

We all like to revert to good ol' Google when it comes to researching or looking for articles, sources, or topics for our school work. What we seem to forget is that there are hundreds of amazing research databases at out fingertips that we forget to use. Google isn't a bad research tool, but we all understand that researching a word or topic on google can result in millions of pages. Wouldn't it be helpful if you could refine your search to help you with your project? Databases like these are designed for research, and they can help you, if you let them!

University of Kentucky Common Databases

At the University of Kentucky, the most common and helpful database collection is EBSCOhost. It will assist you when you attend the university and you will find it on almost all of the University of Kentucky webpages.

InfoKat Discovery is also used at the University of Kentucky as their own research and search tool. You can use it to discover access to a variety of different information at the library and elsewhere.

 And while we may prefer to continue to use our old databases, it is very beneficial to learn the popular and common databases of your new school, simply because a lot of references will probably be made to the new database. Don't be afraid to try something new! And while it's important to learn the new database, the old ones can be useful in research as well. Use both! You will have a variety of information to choose from for you project.

Google vs. Databases

Types of Source Writing

  • Article: newspaper or reference piece: a piece of nonfiction writing in a newspaper, magazine, or reference book.


  • E-book: is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on computers or other electronic devices.


  • E-journal: are scholarly jounals or intellectual magazines that can be accessed via electronic transmission.


  • Microfilm: tiny photographs: a strip of photographic film on which greatly miniaturized reproductions have been recorded.


Searching for Articles

Google Scholar Search

Books are available to you!

Google Book Search

You can do this!

Most of us had our teachers assisting us in high school when it came to our research topics; however in college your professor cannot always help you, and it's important that you know how to work different research databases. Most databases that are used are updated almost everyday, with fresh and current information. Databases often organize their information into different categories, however some information can be found under more than one; so don't forget that databases have their own search engine available to you!

Make sure you research wisely! Don't pull information that you know you won't be able to use. Don't PLAGIARIZE! Remember that some databases have citation tools available to you, so take advantage of it! Realize when a piece of writing is opinionated and when it is being objective, both types are useful but you need to know the difference!

And most importantly, don't get frustrated.

Research is easy and helpful, you just have to know where to look!